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Looking to purchase my first ATV. I really like the 2013 Polaris Sportsman 550 EPS Stealth Black LE. But I hear good and bad stories on Polaris. What about the Honda product? Can anyone provide some advise on my purchase. Honda I know pretty much has been around since I was a kid.. I plan to use the ATV for hunting and trail riding, and some camp work.
 

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I purchased my Sportsman 500HO new in 2011. I purchased it for about the same reasons as you; plow snow, haul firewood, and some trail riding. I was looking between the two machines and finally decided on the Polaris because of the price. My machine was new and for the price I felt I got a really good deal, better than any deal I could get on a Honda. I also joined a local ATV club and of the members for 2013, there are 143 Polaris, 105 Yamaha, 72 Honda, and the other 100 or so are mixed. This is combined for quads and side by sides. Something I think all Polaris machines are known for is charging issues and batteries. You will need to get a battery tender, especially if you put a plow on it for the winter. I have not had any problems with mine and have had it two years now, although I only have a 125 miles or so on it.
 

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I'm not going to put Polaris down because I've never owned one, although like you I've heard good and bad.

What I will say is that I have an 04' Honda 500 Rubicon that I bought new in Oct of 2004. It has 2800 miles on it right now and other than batteries and yearly spring oil/filter changes I have not put a single penny into that machine (not even spark plugs). It fires right up EVERY time. I think it was five years before I had to put a battery in it and have only put one in since the first replacement.

I will say that from day one the steering seemed tight. I thought that it was due to being full time 4-wheel drive (at that time they were made full time 4WD) so I bought an aftermarket 2-wheel/4-wheel selecter for it which seemed to help some. Two weeks ago I finnaly changed the tires on it and now the steering is great. Had I known changing the factory tires out with ITP's would help that much I would have done it a long time ago.

My son had a 2001 Honda 90 for about 5 years and never a single issue with that machine mechanically. Now he has an 07' 250 that runs like a top.

Like I said I'm not going to put Polaris down but I will say that Honda's are rock solid.
 

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I have a 04 Sportsman 500HO. Use it for plowing, hauling wood, dragging out trees etc. Have 3200 miles original tires. I replaced the battery once. No problems at all.
 

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Honda all the way! i have 10k on mine and change oil and tires. my buddy is pushing 30k n one and 20k on the other and we just got another 400.
ride a honda fix all the others, pay the little extra and enjoy it!
my yamaha big bear SUCKED! tie rods,ball joints, ripped out the rear end rebuilt the enging at 13k changed lightbulbs all the time for some reason!
we just pulled my buddies polaris back due to battery /charging system!
honda! no way i will buy anything else!
 

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I wouldn't buy a polaris.I know way too many people who've had nothing but problems with them.I do know some who have had good luck but they're in the minority.I was never a suzuki fan but got a good deal on a LTF500 in 1998.I've had that thing for over 12 years and rode it pretty hard.I change the oil from time to time and clean the air filter as well as replace the spark plug a couple times a year.The thing has never let me down once.It sits in a freezing cold barn all winter and starts right up every time.It's full time 4wd and geared really low.It has a top spedd of about 40mph and turns pretty hard.I really don't like but it's not worth anything so I never got rid of it.However,for pure reliability,I've never seen anything like.I just can't justify upgrading.
 

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suzuki king quad i bet??? we had 2 of them that did pretty well. My buddy had a Polaris given to him by a neighbour who moved to Florida ,the first thing he has to do was change a belt
we told him to give it back!
people buy them if they dont use them alot and they are cheap! JUNK I never understood why people still buy them?
 

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Yep,I think it is a king quad.I bought my kid a Yamaha 300 grizzly this spring.He rides it non stop and it's been pretty good so far but the jury is still out.I have a buddy that sells Yamaha so the next one I buy will probabaly be another yamaha.It's more of a loyalty thing than anything else
 

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We farm and run our ATV,s everyday and use em hard.We have 2 Polaris,s we bought new and they are great.No issues what so ever and they are the best price to boot.It,s a no brainer.
 

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I say Honda. I go on a ride every year with some friends of mine where we put on a couple hundred miles over easter weekend. The past 3 or 4 years in a row the polaris machines break down and the honda and yamaha machines keep going. We had a guy last year who just bought a brand new polaris 2 weeks before the trip and he was bragging up his new quad until the clutch went on it and he was towed back to camp by a rubicon.
 

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Every brand is goin to have breakage.Like the other poster said,sale numbers don,t lie and those are repeating customers as well as first timers.
 

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Still running my 1983 Honda TRX 250 that I purchased used approx. 15 years ago. Previous owned by my father and prior to that by my cousin who ran it hard. No major mechanical problems other than the normal wear items such as brakes & tires.
 

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every issue i had with a yamaha was not possible with the Honda! differend design and it works!
BUT most people who buy an atv it is to say "look what i have" or "i have a ATV" and have few places they are allowed to ride and rack up no nore than 2000 mi in the bikes life....so get a Polaris.
like a chainsaw, I have a hurting gut at the guy that takes his "pulli(a)n" (craftsman) to the tree farm and tries to get it started from last year,to cut down a christmad tree(one or two every year) while i carry my Lowes razor sharp folder in my pocket. wife just is so proud of me for holding it in

no i dont feel the need to take my Stihl.
they just want to be able to use it,once in awhile or say they have one and it is a popular cheap name.
the king quad was an awesome little buggy!

we avg @ 4k/yr and i can post pics of 30k 20k 10k plus odo's on awesome honda's
I would like to see some polaris odo's with 30K or so that are running great with just tires and oil??? and then i may be somewhat ok"ay with the Polaris....most never passed the 13k ring rebuild. ALL our Honda's did
please post those odo's....?


one i have here
 

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I had all of the brands and racked up deep into 5 figures on most of em.No one uses em more than a farmer and most farmers I know own Polaris,s.You are gonna get nothing but bickering on here.Go see what you like and which one most appeals to you.
 

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Polaris is a strong Co.in these bad times and also owns Victory Motocycles and has bought the rights of the legendary Indian Motocycle and has spent millions to resurrect that great name and has came out with a great new Indian Chief that they stand behind 100%.They couldn,t be spending money like that if they weren,t healthy from their bread and butter ATV sales.
 

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I'll bet most of their sales are rangers and RZR's today.I'm no ATV expert but I've owned them for 20 years just like most people I know.I just see more consistant issues with polaris machines than any other brand.I know a guy who owns a big motorcycle/ATV repair shop and he's always advised staying away from the Polaris line.Some people do have good luck with them but from what I've seen,that's the exception rather than the rule.
 

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I grew up in the heart of anthracite coal country & logged some serious miles riding atv's & dirt bikes. By far Yamaha atv's had the market with blasters, warriors, & banshees. Blasters were reliable starter bikes with crappy brakes. Banshees were top dog for hill climbing & all around ripping and tearing. I swore I'd never breakdown & by a utility quad but times have changed and I purchased a used 2007 Polaris Sportsman 500 with very low miles. Fast forward...I have had 2 serious issues with this machine. 1st involved overheating due to a combination of mud & dust during a poker run. The radiator location on these older models sits pretty low & gets hogged up fairly easily (poor design in my opinion). Other brands experienced similar issues that day so I wasn't ready to unload the machine just yet. 2nd issue came on another mud filled poker run this spring in blue knob. Tons of mud & the quadivator fan relay switch & temp. Gauge that i installed indicated no issues this time with overheating. However, either during the ride or while pressure washing I managed to get water into my recoil starter housing. This caused some issues with the starter drive & eventually wiped out my stator. A quick google search & u will discover a ton of people have experienced similar issues with the stator failure. I chose to go the dealer route & shelled out a little over $700 in parts and labor. A rebuilt stator on eBay was $130 plus shipping, but I didn't want to mess with a flywheel puller to get it off the crank. I bought the quad due to the low miles, price, & how well the suspension handled. What I learned the hard way is that this machine requires a lot of special attention that I never had to consider with the sport quads I previously owned. If the pull start is properly seated it does provide a water tight seal (but still a real crappy design again-the housing even contains a drain plug knowing there's a good chance water may enter at some point). The radiator should be thoroughly cleaned after any rides that you encounter a combination of deep mud and dust. Overall I like the bike but wonder if I shouldn't have bought a Yamaha Grizzly.
 
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